By Michael R Shannon
I'm strongly in favor of keeping the mentally ill away from firearms and I'm coming around to approving any policy that keeps crazy ‘journalists' away from a keyboard, too. Case in point is Salon.com writer Arthur Chu. His rant titled "It's not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males" makes Alex Jones sound like Dr. Phil.
Chu and Salon appear to be angry because most of America has a handy rule of thumb for predicting mental illness: Any white loser that goes into a prayer meeting at a black church and indiscriminately shoots nine people in the belief the killings will spark a race war — is nuts.
Besides, everyone knows if you want to create widespread civil unrest it requires a white cop to shoot a black suspect in self–defense while the suspect resists arrest.
Chu begins, "I get really really tired of hearing the phrase "mental illness" thrown around as a way to avoid saying other terms like "toxic masculinity," "white supremacy," "misogyny" or "racism."
He's more concerned with how the insanity manifests itself than the underlying mental illness. This is like criticizing coverage of Jack–the–Ripper for not pointing out his poor surgical technique.
The Charleston shooter was manifestly a crazy racist. The description has the advantage of being accurate without making the rest of white America, and gun owners in particular, responsible for the deaths.
Chu does have the distinction of being the first soft–on–sanity leftist I've encountered. He complains about the lack of "serious policy proposals for how to improve our treatment of the mentally ill in this country," but he wants to exploit the mentally ill to remove guns from the law–abiding sane.
He contends that pointing out the crazy component of white mass shooters is only an excuse to begin a reign of terror among the mentally ill by requiring them to undergo treatment and possibly recover. "Elliot Rodger's (Isla Vista) parents should've been able to force risperidone down his throat. Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech) should've been forcibly institutionalized. Anyone with a mental illness diagnosis should surrender all of their constitutional rights, right now, rather than at all compromise the right to bear arms of self-declared sane people."
Since Rodger's score was three killed with knives and three killed with guns, confiscating my guns wouldn't have prevented his spree. And Cho was so nutty a professor wanted him banned from her classes before he started shooting.
The mental health component of preventing gun violence is to bar gun ownership to anyone who's been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution. Second Amendment rights can reinstate after five years and a doctor's clearance.
But logical consistency doesn't matter when the end goal of the left is to control guns by confiscating guns.
To Chu calling someone mentally ill is like pulling a gun on them, so to speak. "When you call someone "mentally ill" in this culture it's a way to admonish people not to listen to them, to ignore anything they say about their own actions and motivations..."
Sure, just ask Kathleen Willey how that works.
But why any sane person would want to listen to Seung–Hui Cho's ranting is a mystery to me and that goes for all the rest of the mass shooters and their manifestos.
The entire piece is so full of straw men that the column constitutes a fire hazard, but I think his solution to the problem is getting rid of white men and privately owned guns.
Chu appears to believe that the white, oppressive culture that is America today — President Obama, call your office — broadcasts subliminal messages picked up by the most vulnerable among us, who aren't crazy, just indoctrinated.
No credit is ever granted to white America. "And hundreds of years of history in which an entire country's economy was set up around chaining up millions of black people, forcing them to work and shooting them if they get out of line? That's just history." The only problem with that is slavery in the US lasted less than 100 years and 400,000 Union troops died to remove that stain from our nation's honor.
Finally, in full frothing–at–the–mouth mode, he concludes, "We love to talk about individuals' mental illness so we can avoid talking about the biggest, scariest problem of all–societal illness."
The entire piece reads enough like a manifesto to make me hope Chu isn't a gun owner himself. The rational among us can be thankful that outside the fever swamp of Salon this screed will have little influence and we can mark Chu as a Bernie Sanders voter who thought the finest moment in recent history was the Occupy movement.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!).